Why Small Businesses Shouldn''t Settle for Small IT

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Nagaraj Bhargava, Director – Marketing and Strategic Initiatives, SAP India

Many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) mistakenly believe that the scale and power of their IT solutions should be in direct proportion to the size of their companies. The reality is that SMBs manage many of the same processes as the largest companies in their industries, and they will miss out on critical growth and efficiency opportunities by settling for a small or limited solution. 

Today's business software for small business managers makes it possible for you to gain visibility and control over your entire business -just like that enjoyed by larger companies -but with the advantage of fast and easy implementations and affordable pricing.   


Make sure to look at the big picture when it comes to your business and using IT to propel your business strategy.  Consider these points when deciding the size and scope of an IT solution:

  Maximize your investment. A primary goal of purchasing and installing new technologies should be getting the most out of your investment, and that means making sure the solutions you implement have the ability to grow and change along with your business. By implementing “quick-fix” technology solutions, you run the risk of outgrowing them and having them become useless even before they are fully amortized.

No business should be forced to rip and replace an IT system and face the additional cost and pressure of a second implementation when it is experiencing growth. And what small business isn’t? That is when you will need an effective IT system the most, and when your resources will be stretched meeting keeping up with business demand.  Better to choose a solution that will scale to support your business and last a lifetime.


One small IT solution may lead to many, and to multiple vendors. Limited solutions can’t do the whole job.  Patching together a quilt of solutions from multiple vendors will not provide the integration you need to manage your entire business most effectively.  Making different systems talk to one another incurs unanticipated expense and time that could and should be spent on your business, not sorting through mismatched data. 

Comprehensive business management software saves you these hassles by managing and connecting the various parts of your business as a cohesive whole to provide you with maximum insight and control.  These solutions may also offer integration with the systems of your partners, suppliers and customers, allowing you to interact and collaborate with them more responsively, effectively and cost efficiently.

The requirements of your customers may not be small. In order for your business to grow, your IT systems should be powerful and effective enough to allow you to meet the needs of your customers, suppliers and partners, regardless of the size of your company or theirs.


If you are buying from, selling to, or the partner of, larger companies, “homegrown” IT systems may not be enough to meet the changing demands of today’s business ecosystem.  Regulatory requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, and the increasing efficiencies of technology-enabled collaboration demand that your IT is robust enough to interface with other systems.

Smaller, and proprietary, solutions may end up costing you more in the long run. Patchwork systems of small solutions almost inevitably lead to complex upgrades, additional training, service and support, and unnecessary and unanticipated additional costs. For example, having to take the time and expense to train a new employee on a piece of proprietary software or application may be costly and unnecessary, especially if they are already familiar with more common platforms.

If your customers and partners are running more comprehensive solutions, you will be better off implementing systems that are easily integrated, user-friendly, and commonly used in the marketplace.


The right vendors are partners for long-term IT solutions and support. Vendors and implementation partners that are viable can sustain long lasting relationships, providing the resources to implement a comprehensive solution and ensure a high level of support for your business.

Settling for the products and services of a small vendor runs the risk that they won’t be there for you in the future, especially if their business is limited in scope and size. Remember, beginning a new cycle of relationships with partners and vendors can be costly in both time and money.

SMBs can now adopt IT solutions in weeks that give them full control and real-time visibility over their entire business.  Remembering to look at the big picture and address your business as a whole, rather than settling for short-term, patchwork fixes, will allow you to enjoy the same benefits and competitive advantages enjoyed by the leaders of your industry.

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